Music and websites on the internet date back to the late 90s. From the early days of Napster, all the way through iTunes and now YouTube streaming services, the internet is the most popular music medium in the world. Because of this, many real estate agencies and teams are eager to add soundtracks to various (or all) of their webpages.
Open Homes Photography provides the option for our clients to add music to their website, but this is one feature that may hurt your business instead of helping. If you’re considering adding music to your website, whether it be a new listing or community page, we urge you to read this article; once you know the downsides to add music to your website, you can make an informed decision.
Your Visitors May Not Hear Anything
As a means to avoid the music played by intrusive ads that automatically populate, most browsers now default to muting sound from all websites.
The web browsers that will automatically block audio include:
And, pretty much every web browser provides an option to block all autoplay for audio and video.
If the vast majority of people visiting your website can’t hear the music playing on a page, it defeats the purpose of spending the time in effort in implementing music on the page in the first place. This is yet another reason why emphasis should be placed on what your visitors see.
Music Can Affect Page Load Times
One of the most important things to understand about music is even the smallest audio files can take up more space than the copy and photos combined. This added bandwidth can have a dramatic impact on page load times, especially for those on a mobile device.
Although it may seem trivial, slower load times can affect your website’s traffic, potential leads, and conversion rates. Load times can also affect SEO, which will make it harder for potential clients to find your websites.
Modern websites can look beautiful without much bandwidth, so focusing on the visual aspects makes smart business sense.
Music May Interfere With Other Media on the Page
Video Tours are an amazing way for real estate agents to showcase a home’s features in a user-friendly manner (users avoid the need to click through 50+ photos). However, whenever there is an additional soundtrack on a webpage, it will interfere with any other audible media, including Video Tours and even YouTube videos. Our property listing websites are engineered to prevent this (playing a youtube video actually mutes the website audio), but we warn those using less sophisticated services.
The combination of two different soundtracks playing simultaneously or not at all can discourage potential clients from staying on, or returning to, your website. Video Tours often use soundtracks which include descriptions of the property, so adding any additional music will do far more harm than good.
Music Tastes Can Vary Widely
Music, much like wine, relies heavily on personal and individual tastes. Just like certain varieties of vino can be loved by some and lamented by others, the same principles apply to music tastes. So, even if your website music is heard by the visitor, it is a random crapshoot as to whether or not it will deter them from ever visiting your listing or website again.
Although this may seem trivial, people will often make decisions about who they do or do not do business based upon even the smallest nuances. Avoid the pitfall of pushing potential clients away by keeping your website free of any music, no matter how harmless it may seem.
It Goes Against the “Norm”
Here is a great exercise to find out if adding music to your website will be helpful to you. Take about 30 minutes to an hour and search through the websites of your competitors. If you were to search through the top real estate websites (in your market) on the first two pages of Google, you will be hard-pressed to find any music playing on their websites.
The reason behind why they don’t play music on their websites is likely because their clients aren’t expecting it, so they leave it out. Also, since mobile comprises the vast majority of real estate searches and contact, users won’t hear any music anyways
The top producers generate their webpage traffic and lead through smart marketing tactics; music is not currently part of the marketing/social norm. If you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the top competition, adding music to your website isn’t the answer.
Music certainly has its place in marketing, such as local radio jingles, television ads, and YouTube video series. In the case of websites, however, the data suggest that music can slow your website down, interfere with other media you have showcased, and deter potential clients from returning to your site. Selling real estate is still a very visual medium, and utilizing crisp, high-quality photos will vastly improve your ROI when compared to audio. While we do offer the option of adding music, we encourage you to use discretion when doing so.